Where Might You Fit Best In TEFL?


By TedKarma
(This is the latest in a series of posts by EFL teacher TedKarma, who has worked in Korea and Saudi Arabia, and is currently located in Thailand.)

Finding Your Special TEFL Skills
Most people just grab the first TEFL job that comes their way – I certainly did. No big deal. But, the really smart people (I said I didn’t do it, remember?) analyze their previous job experience and try to find a job related to that. This is assuming, of course, that you enjoyed something you did in the past.

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What You Know
Believe it or not, I have taught with, and taught (as a teacher-trainer) petroleum engineers, accoutants, lawyers, nurses, ship’s pilots, factory managers, artists, designers, social workers, journalists, travel agents, and many other people from very diverse backgrounds. All these people had very specialized skills that are needed in the TEFL world. They had knowledge of specialized vocabulary, processes and procedures that schools and businesses value. You too, probably have such skills.

The Best Way To Market Yourself
One very nice way to upgrade where you might teach, is to go and find a college, technical school or university that teaches that special skill your work history has given you. Wouldn’t an engineering school prefer an engineer to me? I know nothing of design and mathematics! Wouldn’t a nursing school prefer a nurse or medical assistant who knows the specialized vocabulary of the field? Wouldn’t a large international accounting firm prefer an experienced accountant? If you can’t find such a job at first, don’t forget to keep looking. They are out there!

Other Benefits
Other than the fact that teaching ESP (English for Special Purposes) usually pays better than teaching General English, you will also find people with whom you share similar interests and knowledge. Where better to find friends in your new country?